In many forms of acute disease, crises develop with marked regularity and in well-defined periodicity. This phenomenon has been observed and described by many physicians.
It is not so well known, however, that in the cure of chronic diseases also, crises develop in accordance with certain laws of periodicity.
Periodicity is governed by the Septimal Law or Law of Sevens, which seems to be the basic law governing the vibratory activities of the planetary universe.
The harmonics of heat, light, sound, electricity, magnetism and of atomic structure and arrangement run in scales of seven.
The Law of Sevens governs the days of the week, the phases of the moon and the menstrual periods of the woman. Every observing physician is aware of its influence on feverish, nervous and psychic diseases.
The Law of Sevens dominates the life of individuals and of nations and of everything that lives and has periods of birth, growth, fruitage and decline.
Over two thousand years ago Pythagoras and Hippocrates distinctly recognized and proclaimed the Law of Crises in its bearing on the cure of chronic diseases. They taught that alternating, well-defined periods of improvement and of crises were determined and governed by the law of periodicity and by the law of numbers (the Septimal Law).
The following quotations are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. XV, p. 800:
"But this artistic completeness was closely connected with 'the third cardinal virtue' of Hippocratic medicine--the clear recognition of disease as being equally with life a process governed by what we should now call natural laws, which could be known by observation and which indicated the spontaneous and normal direction of recovery, by following which alone could the physician succeed.
"Another Hippocratic doctrine, the influence of which is not even yet exhausted, is that of the healing power of Nature. Not that Hippocrates taught, as he was afterwards reproached with teaching, that Nature is sufficient for the cure of diseases; for he held strongly the efficacy of art. But he recognized, at least in acute diseases, a natural process which the humours went through--being first of all crude, then passing through coction or digestion, and finally being expelled by resolution or crisis through one of the natural channels of the body. The duty of the physician was to foresee these changes, 'to assist or not to hinder them,' so that 'the sick man might conquer the disease with the help of the physician.' The times at which crises were to be expected were naturally looked for with anxiety; and it was a cardinal point in the Hippocratic system to foretell them with precision. Hippocrates, influenced as is thought by the Pythagorean doctrine of numbers, taught that they were to be expected on days fixed by certain numerical rules, in some cases on odd, in others on even numbers--the celebrated doctrine of 'critical days.' It follows from what has been said that prognosis, or the art of foretelling the course and event of the disease, was a strong point with the Hippocratic physicians. In this perhaps they have never been excelled. Diagnosis, or recognition of the disease, must have been necessarily imperfect, when no scientific nosology, or system of disease* existed, and the knowledge of anatomy was quite inadequate to allow of a precise determination of the seat of disease; but symptoms were no doubt observed and interpreted skilfully. The pulse is not spoken of in any of the works now attributed to Hippocrates himself, though it is mentioned in other works of the collection.
*The author of this article in the Encyclopedia Britannica does not see that it is the modern [then as now] orthodox "scientific nosology, or system of disease" which obscures the simplicity and precision of the Hippocratic philosophy of disease and cure.
"In the treatment of disease, the Hippocratic school attached great importance to diet, the variations necessary in different diseases being minutely defined…. In chronic cases diet, exercises and natural methods were chiefly relied upon."
These wonderful truths, with other wisdom of the ancients, were lost in the spiritual darkness of the Middle Ages. Modern medicine looks upon these claims and teachings of the Hippocratic School as "superstition without any foundation in fact." However, the great sages of antiquity, drawing upon a source of ancient wisdom, deeply hidden from the self-satisfied scribes and wise men of the schools, after all, proclaimed the truth.
Every case of chronic disease properly treated by natural methods proves the reality and stability of the Law of Crises. It is therefore a standing wonder and surprise to one who knows, that this all-important and self-evident law is practically unknown to the disciples of the regular schools.
The Law of Sevens
In accordance with the Law of Periodicity, the sixth period in any seven periods is marked by reactions, changes, revolutions or crises. It is, therefore, looked upon by popular intuition as an unlucky period. Friday, the sixth day of the week, is regarded as an unlucky day; Friday is hangman's day; according to tradition the Master, Jesus, was crucified on Friday.
Counting from the first sixth or Friday period in any given number of hours, days, weeks, months, years or groups of years, as the case may be, every succeeding seventh period is characterized by crises.
This explains why 13 is considered an unlucky number. It represents the second critical or Friday period.
However, there is really no cause for this superstitious fear of Friday and the number 13. It is due to a lack of understanding of Nature's Laws. By intelligent cooperation with these laws we may turn the critical periods in our lives into healing crises and beneficial changes.
We should not fear the crises periods of the larger life and the changes in our outward circumstances which they may bring any more than we should fear crises in the physical body.
A thorough understanding of the nature and purpose of healing crises in acute and chronic diseases has taught me the nature and purpose of evil in general. It has made me understand more clearly the meaning of "Resist not Evil" and of the saying: "We are punished by our sins, not for our sins." It has shown me that evil is not a punishment or a curse, but a necessary complement of good, that it is corrective and educational in its purposes, that it remains with us only as long as we need its salutary lessons.
The evil of physical disease is not due to accident or to the arbitrary rulings of a capricious Providence, nor is it always "error of mortal mind." From the Nature Cure philosophy and its practical applications we have learned that, barring accidents and conditions or surroundings unfavorable to human life, it is caused in every instance by violations of the physical laws of our being. So the social, political and industrial evil of the larger life is brought about by violations of the law in the respective domains of life and action.
So long as transgressions of the physical laws of our being result in hereditary and acquired disease encumbrances, we must expect reactions which may become either disease crises or healing crises. Likewise, so long as ignorance, selfishness and self-indulgence continue to create evil in other domains of life, we must expect there also the occurrence of crises, of reaction and revolution. When knowledge, self-control and altruism become the sole motives of action, evil and the crises it necessitates will naturally disappear.
Therefore, we should not be afraid of changes and crises periods but cooperate with them clear-eyed and strong-willed. Then they will result in improvement and further growth.
Life is growth, and growth is change. The only death is stagnation. The loss of friends, home or fortune may seem for the time being an overwhelming calamity; but if met in the right spirit, such losses will prove stepping-stones to greater opportunity and higher achievement.
Many of our patients formerly looked upon their diseased condition as a great misfortune and an undeserved punishment; but since it brought them in contact with the Nature Cure philosophy and showed them the necessity of complying with the laws of their being, they now look upon the former evil as the greatest blessing in their lives, because it taught them how to become the masters of fate instead of remaining the plaything of Nature's destructive forces.
Why should we fear even the greatest of all crises, physical death, when it, also, is only the gateway to a larger life, greater opportunities and more beautiful surroundings? Why should we mourn and grieve over the death of friends and relatives, when they have only emigrated to another, better country?
Suppose we ourselves had to enter upon the great journey today or tomorrow, shouldn't we be glad to meet some of our friends on the other side and to be welcomed, advised and guided by them in the new surroundings?
Therefore we should not fear, nor endeavor to avoid the crises in any and all domains of life and action, but meet them and cooperate with them fearlessly and intelligently. They then will always make for greater opportunity and higher accomplishment.
The Law of Sevens Applied to Individual Life
Applied to the life of the individual, the Law of Periodicity manifests itself as follows:
Human life on the earth plane is divided into periods of seven years. The first seven years represent the period of infancy. With the next seven, the years of childhood, begins individual responsibility, the conscious discernment between right and wrong. The third group comprises the years of adolescence; the fourth marks the attainment of full growth. Nearly all civilized countries take cognizance of this fact by fixing the legal age at twenty-one.
The twenty-eighth year, the beginning of the fifth period, is another milestone along the road to development.
The sixth period, beginning at the age of thirty-five and ending at forty-two, is marked by reactions, changes and crises. It may, therefore, seem an unlucky period; but if we understand the law and comply with it, we shall be better and stronger in every way after we have passed this period.
During the seventh period, the effects of the sixth or crises period continue and adjust themselves. It is a period of reconstruction, of recuperation and rest, and thus the best preparation for a new cycle of sevens which begins with the fiftieth year.**
**Those who are interested in the Law of Periodicity as applied to life in general, will find much valuable information in a book entitled Periodicity by J. R. Buchanan, M.D., published by the Kosmos Publishing Co., 2112 Sherman Ave., Evanston, Il.
In this connection it is interesting to note that the Mosaic law recognized the law of periodicity and fixed upon Sunday as the first day or "birthday" of the week, and upon Saturday (the Sabbath) as the last or "rest" day, in which to prepare for another period of seven days.
Orthodox science now admits that the normal length of human life should be about one hundred and fifty years. This would constitute three cycles of forty-nine years each, the first corresponding to youth, the second to maturity, and the third to fruition.
The Law of Sevens in Febrile Diseases
If we apply the Laws of Periodicity to the course of acute febrile or inflammatory diseases, we find that the sixth day from the beginning of the first well-defined symptom marks the first Friday-period or the first crisis of the disease, and that every seventh day thereafter is also distinguished by aggravations and changes, either for better or for worse.
The Law of Sevens in Chronic Diseases
Applied to the cure of chronic diseases under the influence of natural methods of living and of treatment, the Laws of Crises and of Periodicity manifest as follows:
When a chronic patient, whose chances of cure are good, is placed under proper (natural) conditions of living and of treatment he will, as a rule, experience five weeks of marked improvement.
The sixth week, if conditions are favorable, usually marks the beginning of acute reactions or healing crises. This means that the healing forces of the organism have grown strong enough to begin the work of acute elimination.
By all sorts of acute reactions, such as skin eruptions, diarrheas, feverish, inflammatory and catarrhal conditions, boils, abscesses, mucopurulent discharges, etc., Nature now endeavors to remove the latent, chronic disease taints from the system.
The character of the healing crises and the time of their occurrence in any given case can often be accurately predicted by means of the Diagnosis from the Eye (see Chapter XIII), from Nature's records in the iris.
But the best of all methods of diagnosis is the cure iself, because weak spots and morbid taints in the organism are revealed through the healing crises.
The Same Old Aches and Pains
Frequently we hear from a patient in the throes of crises: "These are the same old aches and pains that I had before. It is exactly the same trouble I have been suffering with for many years. This is not a crisis !--I have caught a cold, or I have eaten something which does not agree with me."
The patient has forgotten what we taught him regarding the Law of Crises. He loses sight of the fact that healing crises are nothing more or less than a coming-up-again of old disease conditions, an acute manifestation of ailments which had become chronic through neglect or suppression.
Of course they are "the same old aches and pains." Nature Cure does not create new diseases. Crises mean the stirring up and eliminating of hereditary and acquired taints and poisons. Under the right methods of treatment, any previous disease condition suppressed by drugs or knife or by mental effort may recur as a healing crisis.
They are the same old aches and pains which so often gave trouble in the past, but they are now running their course under different conditions because the patient is now living in harmony with Nature's Laws.
Under the natural regimen, Nature is encouraged and assisted in her cleansing and healing efforts. She is allowed in her own wise way to tear down the old and build up the new.
The "Old Schools" of healing proclaim Mother Nature a poor healer. But we of the Nature Cure school believe that the wisdom which created this wonderful, complex mechanism which we call the human body knows also how to preserve and to repair it. Every healing crisis passed under natural conditions assisted by natural methods of treatment leaves the body purified and strengthened and nearer to perfect health.
Our critics and opponents frequently ask us how we know that our methods are natural and in harmony with Nature's laws.
To this we reply: The timely appearance of healing crises, their orderly development and favorable termination constitute the best criterion of the correctness and naturalness of the methods of treatment employed. The prompt arrival and beneficial results of acute reactions are a certain indication that the healing forces of the organism are in the ascendancy and that the treatment is in conformity with the natural laws of cure and with the constructive principle in Nature.
Another question sometimes asked of us is: "Do healing crises develop in every chronic disease under natural treatment?" Our answer is: If the condition of the patient is not favorable to a cure, that is, if the vitality is too low and the destruction of vital parts too far advanced, the healing crises may be proportionately delayed or may not occur at all. In such cases the disease symptoms will increase in severity and complexity and become more destructive instead of more constructive, until the final fatal crisis. The end may come quickly, or the patient may decline gradually toward the fatal termination.
Again, patients ask us: "Through how many crises shall I have to pass?" We tell them: Just as many as you need; no more, no less. So long as there is anything wrong in the system, crises will come and go; but each crisis, if successfully passed, is another milestone on the road to perfect health.
It is intensely interesting to observe how orderly and intelligently Nature proceeds in her work of healing and repair. One problem after another is taken up and adjusted.
First of all, the digestive organs are put into better condition, because further progress depends upon proper assimilation and elimination. The bowels must act freely and naturally before any permanent improvement can take place. A treatment which fails to accomplish this first preliminary improvement will surely fail to produce more important results.
In this connection it is a significant fact that nearly all our patients, when they come under our care, are suffering from very stubborn constipation in spite of (or possibly on account of) lifelong drugging. Neither medicines nor operations had given them anything but temporary relief and the trouble had grown worse instead of better.
If the "Old School" methods of treatment were not successful in relieving simple constipation, what else can they be expected to cure, since the overcoming of constipation is evidently the primary necessity for any other improvement?
A system of treatment which cannot accomplish this cannot accomplish anything else. It is strange, therefore, that a school of medicine which has not succeeded, with all its vaunted knowledge and wisdom, to cure simple constipation, flatly denies that natural methods can cure cancer, epilepsy, locomotor ataxy and other so-called incurable diseases.
Our Greatest Difficulty
The greatest difficulty in our work lies in conducting our patients safely through the stormy crises periods. The first, preliminary improvement is often so marked that the patient believes himself already cured. He wilI say: "Doctor, I am feeling fine! There is nothing the matter with me any more! I cannot understand why I shouldn't go home and continue the natural regimen there!"
This feeling of mental elation and physical well-being is usually the sign that the first general improvement has progressed far enough to prepare the system for a healing crisis. Therefore my answer to the overconfident patient may be something like this: "Remember what I told you. The first improvement is not the cure, it is only the preparation for the real fight. Look out! In a few days you may whistle another tune."
And sure enough, usually within a few days after such a conversation the patient is down in the slough of despond. His digestive organs are in a wretched condition. He is nauseated, his tongue is coated, he is suffering from headache and from a multitude of other symptoms according to his individual condition. In fact, many of the old aches and pains which he thought already cured come up again with renewed force.
Healing crises, representing radical changes in the system, are always accompanied by physical and mental weakness, because every bit of vitality is drawn upon in these reconstructive processes. The entire organism is shaken up to its very foundation; deep-seated, chronic disease taints are being stirred up throughout the system.
The eliminative processes of the healing crises are often accompanied by great mental depression and a feeling of strong revulsion to the natural regimen and everything connected with it.
The patient thinks that, after all, Nature Cure is not for him, that he is growing worse instead of better. In proportion to the severity of the changes going on within him, he becomes disheartened and despondent. Often he exhibits all the mental and emotional symptoms of homesickness. In these critical days it requires all our powers of persuasion to keep the depressed and discouraged patient from giving up the fight and from taking something to relieve his distress. He insists that "something must be done for him," and cannot understand how he will ever get out of his "awful condition" without some good strong medicine.
If our patients were not continually and thoroughly instructed regarding the Laws of Crises and of Periodicity and if we did not strongly advise and encourage them to persevere with the treatment, few of them would hold out during these critical periods.
This explains why so many people fail to be cured and it also explains why natural living and self-treatment often do not meet with the desired results if carried on without the instruction and guidance of a competent, experienced Nature Cure physician.
So long as the improvement continues, everything is lovely and hope soars high. But when the inevitable crises arrive, the sufferer believes that, after all, he made a mistake in taking up the natural regimen, especially so when friends and relatives do their best to destroy his confidence in the natural methods of cure by ridicule and dire prophesies of failure.
Frightened and discouraged, the patient returns to the "flesh-pots of Egypt" and to the good old pills and potions and ever afterwards he tells his friends that "he tried Nature Cure and the vegetarian diet, but it was no good."
Mother Nature remains a "book sealed with seven seals" to those who mistrust, despise and counteract her, who rely on man-made wisdom and the ever-changing theories and dogmas of the schools.
But on the other hand, every crisis conducted to a successful termination in accordance with Nature's laws becomes an inspiration to him who follows her guidance and assists her with intelligent effort and loving care.